Wednesday, July 1, 2009

blog pulse: Pleasant Valley Safeway

I follow a bunch of Oakland blogs, which cover a wide variety of subjects reflecting the diversity of Oakland. Occasionally there will be an event like Uptown Unveiled which gets blogged across a variety of sites, but usually there's little in common except the bloggers are in Oakland.

So it's interesting when something appears in multiple blogs. The latest thing to catch my eye were various discussions of the plans for the Safeway at 51st/Pleasant Valley and Broadway ("Pleasant Valley Safeway" leaves the Monkees' version of Pleasant Valley Sunday going through my head.)

I first read Becks' post about it on Living in the O, but didn't think too much about it. While I find the mega-Longs near it to be handy for some stuff, I rarely shop at the Safeway (which a friend and I used to joke was so big you could see the curve of the earth looking from one end to the other.) I do find it interesting that Safeway is working on rebuilding plans at the Claremont Safeway in Rockridge, and about a mile away, working on major rebuilding plans for another. I figured with all the work they've put into the plans for the Claremont one, the PV one would be great. I was wrong. They plan to move the Safeway, close the Long's (it's now a CVS Pharmacy), and add parking to what's already an enormous sprawl of parking. Parking gets bunched up in areas of the parking lot at some times of the day, but I've never seen the lot full or close to it.

Transbay Blog's alternative

So when I came across a post on the Transbay Blog with a great alternative, I took note. It expands the grid of streets, and adds pedestrian-friendly alleyways. It gets rid of the sprawl of parking, by adding parking below (unfortunately that costs more, and could stop the plan right there.) And it makes the whole place a lot more appealing by having shops along Pleasant Valley and Broadway and by creating buildings of various heights, including housing. What's not to like about it? Go check out the details of Eric's plan.

So if you're interested in what Safeway is planning and want them to consider alternatives, attend the planning commission hearing on July 15th. Becks has a follow-up post there including a link to the hearing details, and pictures of just how under-utilized the existing parking is.


ArtSparker said...

I'm hoping you are in touch with Karen Hester, who is quite the community activist in the Temescal Area. Her website is

Don't think she has a blog.

Anonymous said...

Gene, I'm so glad you enjoyed the urban mixed use concept! I hope the discussion will encourage people to weigh in at the Planning Commission. Thanks for continuing the discussion.